Maybe Crispin Odey Should Go Into Politics - Dealbreaker

In September of 2018, Crispin Odey was feeling chatty. And why wouldn’t he be? He was up by double-digits, and would double that before the end of the year to return 53%. “I’m the best-performing fund in the world at the moment,” he crowed. “How much better can it get?”

The answer, it turned out, is not at all, calling into question another of his pronouncements—this time in service of batting away rumors he was ready to join his buddies Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg in politics—“I know my limitations.”

The Odey European Inc. hedge fund finished 2019 down 10.1% despite a late rally in December…. Last year’s performance means the outspoken hedge fund manager needs to generate a 111% return just to make up for the losses incurred by his investors over the last five years.

Turns out Odey should have asked Boris for a seat in Parliament or the lordship of Cluckingham Manor and left the managing of money to others.

While Odey’s funds struggled, those run by other managers posted positive returns. The Odey Allegra Developed Markets fund run by James Hanbury gained 27.9% in 2019, and the new Odey Concentrated Natural Resources fund managed by Henry Steel gained 38.4%.

Odey Hedge Fund Slips to Fourth Annual Loss in Five Years [Bloomberg]

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UK Hedge Fund Manager's Chickens To Maintain The Lifestyle They've Grown Accustomed To In 2013

What motivates a hedge fund manager to continue busting his ass to churn out profits year after year, once he's already amassed a fortune most people can't even fathom, when he could easily pack it all in and live more than comfortably without ever working another day? For some, it's the thrill. For others, it's the trophy's wife's shoe habit. For Crispin Odey, it's the chickens. The Odey Asset Management founder (and sausage brand ambassador)'s got a mess of high-maintenance ones and earlier this year, had architects draft blueprints of a "Palladian-style" mansion he intended to build them (seen at left), replete with a grey zinc roof, "pediments, cornice, architrave, and frieze in English oak," and columns "hewn from the finest grey Forest of Dean standstone." After finishing 2011 down 20.3%, things were no doubt more than a little tense over in Herefordshire, where questions of whether or not construction would have to be halted, or if they'd have to make the switch to [whispers] generic-brand feed. Certainly a moment of panic swept over Odey each day when he returned home, wondering as he turned the knob if he'd be entering an empty house, the chickens gone and a note explaining they couldn't do this anymore on the fridge. Ran off with the general contractor because what was the point of shacking up with a money manger if the money wasn't there? Luckily for all parties involved, it won't have to come to that; according to Bloomberg Markets' annual ranking of the top performing hedge funds, performing under pressure is one of Odey's specialities.